Caring for the elderly has its challenges but there are steps you can take to prepare yourself and your family for long-term care.
Depending on the levels of long-term care that may be required, there are a number of steps that can help you in planning for care for yourself. Thinking about your later years when you’re no longer able to care for yourself is not a pleasant thought. But taking action early on in your life by considering care expenses, a financial planner, and even a long-term care insurance policy may help put your mind at ease. And most importantly, when the time comes you and your family will be ready.
These tips and tricks are not only to help those currently in need of care. They are for everyone’s benefit in the long run. Educate yourself now and be prepared!
Planning for Long-Term Care
Medical insurance, caregivers, a long-term care facility, and medication can put a large dent in your bank account when you’re taking care of elderly loved ones. But you can prepare for this day before it even happens. Opening up a savings account can prevent some financial burdens associated with caring for loved ones.
Making sure you put money away for retirement one day and thinking about insurance is essential as you don’t want to be a burden on your own children when you’re older. Planning ahead and being able to cover the costs of long-term care doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many ways you can save money for medical care. You could invest in medical insurance or put money into a trust fund specifically for medical purposes for your family. That way, you’ll be able to fund caregivers, medication, and trips to the doctor, even in cases where you’re no longer earning an income.
For more tips on saving for retirement, see this article from Bankrate.com.
-Do Research or Contact a Professional
Depending on the type of care needs, you will need to do extensive research on how you can best plan ahead. It’s also helpful to contact a professional practitioner who is experienced in the medical field and that can give you the best advice going forward.
You may feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that goes into taking care of elderly loved ones, but you don’t have to do this alone. You can look into getting home-based caregivers to assist you when you’re not around. There are also facilities that offer adult foster care for the day.
Thinking outside the box and keeping your options open with the well-being of your loved ones in mind is something you should always consider. Taking care of their mental and physical health is a top priority so finding the correct assistance is vital. Your local community may have more resources than you’re aware of.
-What Is Available in Your Area?
Your research should also include what sort of facilities are in and around your area. If you’re sending your loved one to a senior living community, you might want the facility to be close by so you can go for regular visits.
If you’re going for the caregiving option, it’s always best to look for a center that’s nearby so that it’s easy for the caregivers to travel to and from work. Make sure there are also medical centers and hospitals nearby in case of an emergency.
There are also databases you can use on the Internet to help you find good senior living options nearby. It’s always best to check these facilities for yourself and conduct interviews with nurses & doctors to make sure the environment is safe for your loved ones. (Check out our Find a Community pages for Arizona and Utah to find an Avista community with great care near you. We’re biased, of course, so check us out for yourself!)
-Advanced Care Planning
Some people don’t prepare for the day their parents need care or even when they need care themselves when the time comes. This can lead to a lack of resources or hastily made decisions that cause tension for all. Rather, prepare an advanced care plan for when your parents are no longer able to take care of themselves. This allows your parents to verbalize their care wishes in terms of the facilities they’d like to go to and the health care plan they’d like to have when they get older. It’s always best to take into consideration what your family needs so there are no problems when it’s time for care.
It may not seem like necessary while your parents or loved ones are still healthy and young, but preparing for it in the interim will save you a lot of hassle. It will give you the opportunity to save money so your loved ones can live a comfortable life when they’re older.
It’s also advisable that you plan advanced health care for yourself or your partner so you can ensure you’ll be taken care of when you get older or should fall sick.
You can learn more about what’s involved in advanced care planning from the Mayo Clinic.
-Look for the Signs
Sometimes, during your busy schedule, you don’t notice when your parents or loved ones are starting to age to the point where they can’t take care of themselves. It’s important to always be observant with the elderly and to look for signs that all is not well.
If you’ve put an advanced plan into place and these signs tell you it’s time to get your loved ones the care they need, there will be less stress. Remember, it’s also essential that you communicate effectively with your loved ones to make sure they’re comfortable with the decisions you’ve made.
Early warning signs are sometimes subtle so keep a close eye on their behavioral patterns. Knowing when to take action requires focus as the initial signs of forgetfulness or frailty develop over time. Their day-to-day habits can give you an idea of when it’s time to start preparing them for care.
Planning your life in advance may seem trivial because you’re seemingly so far from that stage. But being prepared is vital, especially when you’re younger. It’s always best to put these plans into place so you know that you and your family will be well taken care of when the time comes.
Consult an advanced care plan center today. One day, when you look back, you’ll be glad that you did.